Recent poll numbers show that a majority of New Jersey residents are in favor of legalizing recreational cannabis, but only if it will lower their taxes. The survey polled 1,500 New Jersey residents via phone between August 9th and the 19th and was conducted by NJ Advance Media for Nuka Enterprises, which is a company that makes cannabis-infused food products. The survey numbers show that 44 percent of those polled approve of legalizing recreational cannabis, with 31 percent saying that they were against it.
When asked if they would favor recreational marijuana should doing so lower their property taxes, the numbers showed some changes. Those in favor of adult use recreational weed increased to 53 percent if it mean a decrease in the amount they pay in local taxes, while 24 opposed still opposed. According to the story from NJ.com, the state currently carries the highest property tax burden in country.
Medical cannabis was initially legalized in the Garden State in 2010 after outgoing governor Jon Corzine signed the bill. In 2017, there were only around 12,000 residents enrolled in program. Earlier this year, Governor Phil Murphy implemented changes that finally expanded the program so more patients could access the plant medicine that they need.
Governor Murphy initially ran on a platform of legalizing recreational cannabis, and estimated that $60 million of state tax revenue would be added in 2019 – even though such a program hasn’t yet been implemented. Murphy remains optimistic, claiming that legal weed is coming soon.
“I can’t score anything when there’s no bill but I think there’s a broad commitment among all of us – I think I can speak for all of us – to try to get that over the goal line sooner than later,” Murphy said.
State Senate President Steve Sweeney echoes the governor’s sentiment, favoring a program that would legalize possession of up to one ounce of recreational cannabis for those 21 or older. Back in July, he claimed it would happen this summer.
“We are rounding the corner on marijuana. I know the speaker and I are committed to getting the marijuana bills done this summer. That’s our goal. So marijuana is something we’re going to get done,” Sweeney said.
Only time will tell if recreational cannabis will become legal in New Jersey. According to this particular poll, it appears to be the will of the people – at least this particular group that were surveyed.